Thursday morning was spent at the Shunka-en Bonsai Museum of Kunio Kobayashi in Tokyo, Japan. The beauty of bonsai displays here is unparallel in Japan.
Mr. Kobayashi’s apprentice Jin speaks English and explained the many displays and bonsai in the museum to our group. He mentioned we were lucky, normally about 15 bonsai are on display, but today there are over 50 trees because of an autumn exhibition with client’s bonsai.
Every time I visit Shunka-en Bonsai Museum there are more and more bonsai, mostly larger sizes which Chinese clients like. Also there were a great number of suiseki all packed up, complete with display tables for next February’s Nippon Bonsai Suiseki Exhibition. Mr. Kobayashi is the current chairman and the accepted stones are collected to be photographed for the album in his garden. I hand carried Mike Pollock’s and my suiseki for the exhibietion which will be in February, during Part 2 of the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition. Actually, they were both carefully packed in bubble wrap, then in a box inside one of my suitcases. Suiseki are not permitted as hand carry items because they can be lethal weapons, guess you knew that already.
Recently Mr. Kobayashi finished constructing an apprentice dormitory with 7 bedrooms, 2 showers and 2 toilets. Additionally, an imported wooden stove from Norway was installed on the ground floor. Mr. Kobayashi is now a master pizza chef enjoying making the Italian pies, nearly daily in his new fireplace. I caught him cleaning the ashes from his new hobby preparing for tonight’s dinner.